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Original Research 


* A STUDY OF FRESHWATER POND TAXA 
• • MARSILEA QUADRIFOLIA & SAL VINIA 

J5L-. NATANS IN KOLKHETT LOWLAND BLACK SEA 
COASTLINE 


Bulbuli Bolqvadze 1 , Izolda Matchutadze 2 

'PkD Student of Batumi Skota Rustaveli State University, Scientist oj Batumi Botanical Garden, Georgia; 2 Head of Mire Conservation 
Department, Institute of Pkytopatkology a nd Biodiversity, Batumi Skota Rustaveli State University, Georgia. 


ABSTRACT 


In recent years, degradation of freshwater ponds, an important habitat of biodiversity, caused by the anthropogenic factors, has prompted sci¬ 
entists from the Mediterranean countries to evaluate freshwater ponds by the IUCN Red List as threatened ecosystem [1,2]. In 2015 IUCN 
Red List officially gave the freshwater ponds of the Mediterranean Sea coastal area global status [1,2]. The aim of the paper is to study fresh¬ 
water species: Marsilea quadrifolia and Salvinia natans. The subject of the present study was freshwater ponds of Nature 2000 and Emerald 
Network coastal zone with predominance of Salvinia natans and protected by the EUNIS system and Bern Convention from Sarfi to Anaklia. 

Methodology: During the study a transect method was used; special attention was paid to the habitat type, its ecological state, 
plant covering density (in %), composition of species and their quantity. 

Results: Freshwater ponds of the Kolkheti costal area are valuable for being an important habitat for IUCN Red List species: 
Salvinia natans (LC) and Marsilea quadrifolia (LC). But these habitats and, respectively, plant species are affected by the great¬ 
est anthropogenic factors such as implementation infrastructural projects (seaports, terminals) causing their degradation and 

disappearance. 

Discussion and Conclusion: In the article spreading of the habitats of Salvinia natans and Marsilea quadrifolia and threats are determined; 
recommendations for in-situ Scex-situ conservation of habitats and plant species are given. 

Key Words: Kolkheti, Freshwater ponds, Marsilea quadrifolia , Salvinia natans , Conservation 


INTRODUCTION 

Natural freshwater ponds cover only 1% of the planet; they 
are distinguished with biodiversity and present one of the 
important ecosystems being under threat. In recent years, 
degradation of freshwater ponds, an important habitat of bio¬ 
diversity, caused by the anthropogenic factors, has prompted 
scientists from the Mediterranean countries to evaluate fresh¬ 
water ponds by the IUCN Red List as threatened ecosystems. 
In 2015 IUCN Red List officially gave the freshwater ponds 
of the Mediterranean Sea coastal area global status [1,2]. 

After the natural freshwater ponds were officially recognized 
by IUCN, donors and private companies took upon them¬ 
selves an obligation and responsibility to help preservation 
of the habitats and protect it from any negative influences. 


This will provide a possibility to create protected territories 
of a new type. It would be reasonable to create a database and 
spreading maps [1,2,3]. Freshwater ponds of the Kolkheti 
coastal area are valuable for being an important habitat for 
IUCN Red List species: Salvinia natans, Marsilea quadri¬ 
folia. Both species are evaluated as of Least Concern (LC) 
category. This category includes widespread and large taxa 
and notes that they are not qualified as threatened groups. 

Subject of the Study 
Materials and Methods 

The subject of the study was protected by Nature 2000, 
Emerald Network and Bern Convention freshwater ponds 
and living there indicator species Salvinia natans, Marsilea 


Corresponding Author: 

Bulbuli Bolqvadze, PhD Student of Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University, scientist of Batumi Botanical Garden, 
Georgia 

Received: 20.06.2016 Revised: 12.07.2016 Accepted: 03.08.2016 


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Bolqvadze et.al.: A study of freshwater pond taxa marsilea quadrifolia & salvinia natans in kolkheti lowland black sea coastline 


quadrifolia. By the definition, a freshwater pond is a depres¬ 
sion in the ground with greenish and brownish clear water, 
where pH=5-6. 

Habitats and density of plant cover were studied by the 
method DAFOR, where D means dominant species, A - 
Abundant, F - Frequent, O - Occasional, R - Rare. (www. 
Halcrow, www.TACIS, www.ICWS ). For plant description 
a transect method was used. Transect is a straight line run¬ 
ning across the given habitat for the purpose of studying its 
plant communities. During phytocenosis study of the given 
habitat a square method was used on every 50 m space along 
the transect line. The squares were 4x4 m 2 in parameters. For 
obtaining more detailed data the Domin-Krajina method was 
also used [1-4]. During the study special attention was paid 
to the habitat type, its ecological state, plant covering density 
(in %), composition of species and their quantity, and vitality 
of single species. The main guideline for field investigations 
was ecology of dry land plants [1-9]. 


RESULTS 

Marsilea quadrifolia is a subject protected by Bern Conven¬ 
tion and EUNIS agreement of European Union. The pond 
with Marsilea quadrifolia was destroyed during the con¬ 
struction of a new boulevard and infrastructure systems. 

At present, the only habitat of Marsilea quadrifolia in 
Kolkheti, is a pond near the Tskaltsminda river and village 
Kvavilnari, close to a costal dune. 


Table i: Plant communities of Marsilea quadrifolia 



Species 

DDomin 

1 

Phragmites australis 

3 


2 

Paspalum paspaloides 

2 


3 

Veronica baccabunga 

2 


4 

Sagitaria sagidifoliaa 

2 


5 

Potamogeton crispus 

4 


6 

Ceratophyllum demersum 

4 


7 

Butomus umbellatus 

1 


8 

Marsilea quadrifolia 

7 


9 

Rhamphicarpa medwedewii 

4 




Figure 1: Marsilea quadrifolia. 



Figure 2: Rhamphicarpa medwedewii. 


In the habitat of Marsilea quadrifolia a transect was made 
from the South to the North at a space of every 50 m. along 
its route. Every square contains the following plant commu¬ 
nities: 

1. Paspalum paspaloides, Rhamphicarpa medwedewii, 
Cyperus badius ; 

2. Typha angustifolia, Phragmites australis ; 

3. Typha angustifolia, Paspalum paspaloides, Sagitaria 
sagitiifolia, Marsilea quadrifolia ; 

4. Marsilea quadrifolia, Paspalum paspaloides, Veronoca 
baccabunga, Scirpus triqueter\ 

5. Rhamphicrapa medewedewii; 

7. Typha angustifolia; 

8. Marsilea quadrifolia ; 

9. Paspalum paspaloides. 


Int J Cur Res Rev | Vol 8 • Issue 15 • August 2016 














Bolqvadze et.al.: A study of freshwater pond taxa marsilea quadrifolia & salvinia natans in kolkheti lowland black sea coastline 


The ponds with predominance of Salvinia natans are protect¬ 
ed by Bern Convention and EUNIS (European Union Nature 
Information System) agreement together with Emerald Net¬ 
work and Nature 2000. The development of the Anaklia free 
zone has destroyed freshwater ponds with predominance of 
Salvinia and caltrop. The area of Salvinia spreading gradu¬ 
ally diminishes. 

Today the habitats of Salvinia in the Kolkheti lowland are 
the following: 

Anaklia - small freshwater ponds. Their number was signifi¬ 
cantly higher but it has been decreased and only two ponds 
of 5x5 m size remained; 

The river Tsivi - there is small number of population in cha- 
nals, but only individual species can be found; 

Churia - along the road to the south of Kulevi terminal. 




Figure 4: Drivers of threats affecting threatened Marsilea 
quadrifolia and Salvinia natans habitats. 


DISCUSSION 

Historically, in the coastal area of Kolkheti, habitats have 
been continuously degraded and disappeared as a result of 
human activity. This process has significantly increased 
from the beginning of the 20 th century, namely: irrigation ac¬ 


tivities, dams over rivers that accompanied urban projects. In 
many places freshwater ponds were turned into dumpsites. A 
dump site at the right side of the Chorokhi River is a good 
example of it. Understanding of the importance of habitats, 
their role in the ecosystems is very low among the popula¬ 
tion. Significant anthropogenic factors are water pollution, 
uncontrolled tourism, the sea coastal line contaminated by 
household trash during the warm season. Excessive pastur¬ 
age is one of the worst dangers as well as uncontrolled hunt¬ 
ing and fishing. As a result, favorable conditions are created 
for proliferation propagation of invasive species. Another 
problem is that the territories of special value beyond the 
protected area are not given protected status that allows un¬ 
controlled hunting and fishing. 

CONCLUSION 

In order to save the biodiversity of per-humid ecosystems 
of the Kolkheti coastal area, to implement protection and 
management of threatened species, it is necessary to activate 
and toughen the measures for environmental protection as 
well as create local protected areas. The role in protecting 
ecosystems cannot be overestimated. They form homeosta¬ 
sis that allows communities of species to function normally. 
Disappearance of even one species leads to misbalance be¬ 
tween species interaction. Therefore all these habitats must 
be fully protected [10-12]. It is necessary to conduct ex-situ 
conservation of the species in the Batumi Botanical Garden 
as well as in the Kolkheti protected areas (the Kolkheti Na¬ 
tional park and Kobuleti protected areas). For this purpose, it 
is of utmost importance to create artificial freshwater ponds. 

ACKNOWLEDGMENT 

Our thanks are to the scholars whose articles are cited and in¬ 
cluded in references of this manuscript. We are also grateful 
to authors / editors / publishers of all those articles, journals 
and books from where the literature for this article has been 
reviewed and discussed. We thank the Editors of IJCRR for 
their helpful comments and editorial support and for reviews 
that helped improve the paper. 

We would also like to pass our thanks to the driver of the expe¬ 
dition, Mr Niko Tavdgiridze, for his assistance to identify Mar¬ 
silea and Salvinia places as well as his help in providing fuel. 

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Smith (2015) Freshwater key biodiversity areas in the Mediter¬ 
ranean Basin Hotspot, IUCN Red List, 86 p.; 


l 


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Bolqvadze et.al.: A study of freshwater pond taxa marsilea quadrifolia & salvinia natans in kolkheti lowland black sea coastline 


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